Ed’s getting it in the neck at the moment. This happens when he goes away. It happened when ho took paternity leave and it’s happening again now he’s on honeymoon. Of course some do it constantly, but so much so that they are in serious danger of overplaying their hands. One can only write the same column so many times before it disappears in into its own sense of self-importance. But yes, when Ed goes away, the restless come out to play. Sadly, we must leave aside the classlessness of that. Politics is what it is.
Ed’s dilemma is not that there are people sniping at him. That happens to every leader. It’s how Blair knew he was doing it right. Ed’s problem is that there is a real tension between the two things the Party really wants. Members of the Party are determined to remake the Party into one in which members voices are heard, listened to and acted on. Ed has clearly made this his top priority and the emphasis being put on projects like Refounding Labour is truly admirable. At the same time, the Party also wants to see the shape of our party and platform that Ed wants to see. What shape are we going to be in. That’s understandable, but equally understandable is Ed standing firm and saying to members that this is up to us now.
Tonight I have been working on my personal submission for Refounding Labour. Mine will a bit of an essay – possibly even four essays. I fully intend to publish my answers here for people to read, and I don’t think there’s anything to stop others from doing the same.
So why not Ed?
What better way to show how seriously he takes this consultation than by submitting his own response? How better to show that there is form and shape to his vision but to lay it out to the Party members? How better to demonstrate that the Party is lead by Ed but informed by the members than to have the final document be written by us jointly?
When Ed gets back from honeymoon, he should put fingers to keyboard, and write the answers he envisages to the Big Questions. Making it clear that his is not the final answer, but a part of the vision puzzle.
Go on Ed – yours might even be better than mine!